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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 06-09-2011, 11:06 AM
Concerned1 Concerned1 is offline
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Question Opinion please

Hi, I'm new here and to a looming divorce I don't want.

I have a question regarding inheritance and net family property, and I am hoping I can have some educated opinions.

We have been married for 20yrs.
My spouse received an "inheritance in trust" years after we started dating, but around the time we started to live together. Since it was in trust, no actual money was received at that time. 1yr later we were married. A few years after that, once my spouse turned 25, the inheritance was paid out, and most of it was used to purchase our first house. Since that time my salary has contibuted to most of the growth in our net family property.

My question is; Do they have a strong case to claim this money should be deducted from the net family property (as it was awarded pre-marriage), or should it remain within the net family property since the funds were put into the matrimonial home?

Thanks in advance.
Old 06-09-2011, 11:19 AM
AtALoss AtALoss is offline
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It seems to me that you have some claim to the inheritance despite when he recieved first notice of it. The fact that he has pulled it into the marriage, by using it to purchase the house makes it so. The monies were used to enhance the family assets. Any lawyer will tell you the same.
Old 06-09-2011, 12:22 PM
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Rioe Rioe is offline
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Inheritances are excluded from net family property IF they can be proven as remaining distinct. Ie, the inheritor bought a car with the money, then the car wouldn't be counted, or if a separate bank account was opened for the money, it would be excluded from equalization. But, as often happens, if the inheritance money was mingled into the family finances to the point of being indistinguishable, it gets divided.

In the case of a matrimonial home, I believe even more strict rules apply, as the family home is always divided. Someone could inherit a house one year, get married the next, and divorce soon afterwards, and the house value would be divided in half.

So no, they do not have a strong case. Once the money went into the family home, it became half yours. And this was nearly twenty years ago! However, depending how cooperative you want to be, you might want to concede to taking less than half. The spirit of the law rather than the letter. But on the whole, your ex knew the money was coming before you got married, and could have kept it separate with with some sort of prenuptial agreement. This did not happen, ergo it is family money and should be divided equally.

Lesson being, if you inherit money, never buy a house with it.
Old 06-09-2011, 01:38 PM
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billm billm is offline
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Originally Posted by Concerned1 View Post
...Since that time my salary has contibuted to most of the growth in our net family property.
Ah your ex is doing the old 'what's mine is mine, what's yours is ours' thinking...lovely.

I agree with Rioe's post
Old 06-09-2011, 01:38 PM
staysingle staysingle is offline
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Without doubt, the inheritance is family property now and to be divided equally. Do not let a lawyer scare you into thinking otherwise
Old 06-09-2011, 05:18 PM
Concerned1 Concerned1 is offline
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Thanks all for the feedback, particularly the detailed reply from Rioe.

I realize this is not true legal advice, but it certainly gives me a much better comfort level. I was very disappointed with the initial consulation I had with one lawyer, where she replied with the generic statement "if the inheritance was received pre-marriage, then they get to keep it". This completely ignored the fact that virtually all this inheritance went into the family home, which I keep reading must be split equally.

Thanks again.
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